Scott Greer, Highly Respected, May 31, 2023
White privilege is a modern American dogma. Schoolchildren and adults are taught that whites have tremendous advantages in our society. One of those alleged advantages is leniency from the justice system. We’re told constantly that whites get easier sentences or no convictions at all for their many crimes—just because they’re white.
Reality, however, is very different. Increasingly, the justice system favors black defendants far more than white ones. This is especially true when it comes to interracial violence.
Two cases present the new reality in our justice system. One story is that of a white man sentenced to 10 years in jail for shooting a black man in self-defense. Another is that of a hung jury that refused to find two black defendants guilty of a white man’s murder they admitted to committing. These cases show the true face of American justice–and it’s in another universe from the Left’s fantasy world.
Ian Cranston and his fiancé, Allison Butler, were out at a bar in Bend, Oregon on the night of September 19th, 2021. A black man, Barry Washington Jr., aggressively hit on Butler. After multiple passes on his fiancé, Ian told Washington to “move along.” The incensed Washington attacked Cranston. Cranston, believing he was at risk of great harm, pulled out his gun and shot his attacker. The white man claimed he acted in self-defense. Prosecutors disagreed, arguing he shot Washington out of “wounded pride.” The prosecutors basically argued Cranston was a loser and should’ve accepted the black man’s aggressions.
The case, which had no real racial element involved, was instantly treated as a lynching by activists. Black Lives Matter marched for charges right after the shooting. Prosecutors leaned into this angle to try to deny bail for Cranston as he awaited his trial in 2022. “Cranston was motivated not by self-defense but by anger, hate, and frustration with the victim’s behavior,” the prosecution said in a motion to deny the defendant bail. It’s just indefensible to be angry and frustrated over being attacked by a much larger man harassing your fiancé.
Barry Washington was not exactly a saint. Less than an hour before his fatal encounter, Washington cussed out a police officer. In 2020, Washington was in a high-speed chase with police in California. Cops say the speeder threw bullets out of his car during the chase and was later found with a rifle magazine. Washington had also made gang references and mocked the fighting of “suburban white boys” in text messages.
The jury agreed with the prosecution and found Cranson guilty of manslaughter. (They found him not guilty of murder.) The judge sentenced the white defendant to ten years in jail. Washington’s mother, La’Wanda Roberson, found it a slap on the wrist. She also argued that racism motivated the shooting in her victim impact statement. “Does anyone think that Cranston would have even noticed my son if he were not Black? What’s clear to me is that if my son was white, he would be alive today,” she said. “You don’t have to be Black to know that.”
Roberson is completely wrong, however. If Washington were white, Cranston may have never been charged. The public would be more willing to support a self-defense claim against a white oaf harassing a woman and attacking the woman’s fiancé. Cranston was found guilty because he is white and his victim was black. It’s why there was outrage in the first place. There would have been no public outrage if the deceased were white.
While an Oregon jury found Cranston guilty, a California jury couldn’t reach the same verdict for two self-professed killers earlier this month. Fantasy Decuir and Lamonte Mims robbed and killed 71-year-old Ed French, a white man, in San Francisco back in 2017. The fatal shot was caught on camera. The pair did not deny they were responsible for French’s death. But their defense lawyers said they shouldn’t be held responsible. The legal team presented some very odd arguments to support this.
Decuir’s lawyer said she was suffering a “sickle cell crisis” and opiate withdrawals when she fired the gun. Additionally, the lawyer pointed to her low IQ and “lack of adaptive functioning” to say she couldn’t have been conscious of what she was doing. This argument apparently convinced some jurors. The two were only found guilty of robbery charges that covered French and other victims. While neither were exonerated, a mistrial was certainly a travesty. Decuir and Mims were clearly guilty and admitted to the murder. Mims had just been released from jail for numerous parole violations. (He was on felony probation at the time.) Yet, a jury still couldn’t reach a guilty verdict due to the defendants’ race.
This is not the first time this has happened. It’s now common for American juries and district attorneys to absolve blacks of responsibility for murders. Here are examples I highlighted in a Revolver article last year:
- The three black men involved in Ethan Liming’s 2022 beating death saw their murder charges reduced to lesser offenses. One of the participants was only sentenced to 180 days in jail.
- A black man in Iowa was found not guilty of murder last year for his role in the death of his white girlfriend. He severely beat the victim and the woman fell from her apartment balcony during the assault. She died from the fall. The jury found the black man not responsible for the death–only for the assault.
- Kansas City officials refused to press murder charges against a black woman who shot and killed an off-duty white firefighter. The firefighter had confronted the woman’s boyfriend after he threatened a gas station clerk. The boyfriend fought the white man, but the fight was not going well for him. The girlfriend shot the firefighter, which authorities determined was in self-defense.
- A black man in South Carolina was found not guilty in 2021 after shooting and killing a white retired volunteer fire chief as the victim sat in his car. The shooter claimed the victim startled him and that was a sufficient explanation to find him innocent of murder.
- A black man in Florida was sentenced to house arrest in 2022 over the fatal beating of a white man who called him a slur. Prosecutors felt the punch that killed the 77-year-old victim merited a lenient sentence because “the victim repeatedly used possibly the most aggressive and offensive term in the English language.”
- Prosecutors in Florida dropped charges in 2017 against a black man who beat his white math tutor to death after the victim allegedly used a racial slur. The prosecutor’s office felt it had no “competent evidence” to rebut the defendant’s claim he was provoked into violence and said the slaying was not done in a “cruel and unusual manner.”
There are also a few cases of mistrials against clearly guilty black defendants. Serial killer Billy Chemirmir saw his first trial end in a deadlocked jury in 2021, despite the trove of evidence against him. One juror refused to convict him and refused to see any more evidence that may persuade them to change their mind. He was later retried and found guilty of capital murder.
A Florida case against a black man accused of a brutal home invasion murder ended in a mistrial after black jurors convinced the rest of the jury to support the lesser charge of manslaughter. The forewoman changed her mind at the last moment after seeing the killer celebrate the lenient outcome.
As I argued last fall, the justice system does exhibit systemic racism–in favor of blacks.
At the same time the justice system lets off clearly guilty blacks, it crushes the right to self-defense for whites. Ian Cranston, Daniel Penny, Daniel Perry, and yes, even the exonerated Kyle Rittenhouse all testify to that fact.
The Kansas City case is particularly galling. The same authorities who refused to prosecute the murder of a white Good Samaritan pressed charges last month against an elderly white homeowner who shot a black teen for allegedly trying to enter his home late at night. Ian Cranston was more justified in using deadly force than the black woman in the KC shooting, yet he’s spending 10 years in jail. The precedent set by the KC shooting would’ve justified a black person shooting Daniel Penny as he wrestled Jordan Neely to the ground. Whites can’t interfere with black criminals, but blacks can take out white Good Samaritans. That’s anarcho-tyranny for you.
While conservatives melt down over the latest gay beer ad, it’s worth remembering what’s really important. A two-tier justice system that favors black criminals and crushes white self-defense is a horror that cannot stand. Restoring equality before the law is far more important than the petty obsessions of conservative media.